Developing A Christ-like Character
Text: Col 3:1-17,23-25
A. It involves a change in perception.
Perception is “the way in which something is regarded, understood, or interpreted”.
Developing a Christ-like character begins with a change in perception – our perceptions determine our outlook.
Our perception needs to change such that we value spiritual things instead of physical things (3:1-4). a. Why? Because we are dead to the world (3:3). Because we are raised with Christ (3:1). b. How? By setting our focus on spiritual things (3:2). By making Christ our life (3:4).
B. It involves a change in disposition.
Disposition is “a person's inherent qualities of mind and character”.
A change in perception leads to a change in disposition – we desire things that we perceive as important.
Our disposition needs to change such that we deny self instead of giving in to sinful desires (3:5-9). a. Why? Because of God’s wrath upon sinners (3:6-7). Because we have renounced our sinful ways (3:9). b. How? By abstaining from sinful behaviour (3:5). By abstaining from sinful speech (3:8-9).
C. It involves a change in education.
Education is “the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction”.
A change in disposition leads to a change in education – we put effort into learning what we have desire for.
Our education needs to change such that we fill ourselves with the word of Christ instead of the wisdom of men (3:10-11,16). a. Why? Because Christ is all that matters (3:11). Because the word of Christ gives wisdom (3:16). b. How? By personal study (3:10). By mutual teaching (3:16).
D. It invovles a change in application.
Application is “the action of putting something into operation”.
A change in education leads to a change in application – we put into practice what we have learnt.
Our application needs to change such that we put on the new man instead of the old man (3:12-15). a. Why? Because we are the holy and beloved elect of God (3:12). Because we will have peace in our hearts (3:15). b. How? By following the example of Christ (3:13). By having love as our motivation (3:14).
E. It involves a change in devotion.
Devotion is “the love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person or activity”.
A change in application leads to a change in devotion – we develop commitment through habitual practice.
Our devotion needs to change such that we live for Christ instead of self (3:17,23-25). a. Why? Because we are to be thankful (3:15,17). Because Christ is our master (3:24). b. How? By doing all things by the authority of Christ (3:17). By doing all things wholeheartedly for Christ (3:23).